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Aug 10

AMEX Premier

Up to some point in mid-September 2011, Amex was generous enough to give most everyone 75,000, Membership Rewards by getting the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card. Unfortunately, AMEX plugged this loophole.

Old Procedure

The procedure below is noted for the sake of history. It no longer works and the method was never officially supported by American Express

  • If you already have an American Express online account, make sure you are signed out of it. Also, click “no” to the already have an account box during your application.
  • Apply for card. If you get an error message, re-check to make sure you are signed out of your AMEX online account. Also consider clearing your browser’s cookies and then clicking the link again.
  • If you don’t get an instant approval, make note of your reference numbers and call 877-399-3083. Applications get sent for manual review all the time for no apparent reason, so there is a good chance they will say yes while you are on the phone. Sometimes they make you wait a week or two. For more complicated credit issues, you can try: 800-230-1284 (M-F 7am-mid; Sa 7am-10pm; sun noon-10pm EST)
  • Spend $1,000 (some success with only spending $500, but I recommend $1k)
  • Wait 8 weeks (maybe 25% of the time you can get this expedited, but why waste your time calling twice.
  • Call 800-297-3276 (M-F 9am-mid; Sa-Su 10am-6:30pm). Tell them that you know other people have received 75,000 bonus points from this card using offer code 6661 (alternative codes if there is an issue include: 5894,5985,5970) and you want to know if they would be willing to match it for you. They have always said yes to me if I waited the 8 weeks or told me to call back at the end of 8 weeks. I have never been told no, however, I have heard of others that have (especially on their first call). Make sure you are VERY polite and never get upset with the agent. If you have waited the 8 weeks, the points will usually show up in your account by the time you hang up the phone.
  • If they say no, simply say thank you and hang up. Then call back the next day and try again.
  • Consider continuing to use the card to pay for flights since they give you 3x membership rewards points when buying flights.
  • Expires 9/30/2011: Consider converting to Delta if you haven’t converted MR points to Delta Skymiles in the past. Use this link to sign up for the offer. Then get 50% extra Skymiles on your first transfer to Delta, plus Silver status (or 25k MQM points toward higher statuses) if you transfer over 100,000 MR points.
  • Note that the second year costs $175, so certainly call AMEX when you year is about up to see if they will help you remain a loyal customer.

While “your milage may vary”, I have been successful at getting the extra bonus for 4 out of the 4 cards I have tried it on. Worst case scenario is you end up with 15k [now 25k] Membership Rewards points.

American Express deserves great props for this. Their customer service really goes the extra mile here. Please don’t over abuse their generosity. Based on actions like this (along with their superior spending rewards), I use AMEX for the majority of my regular spending as well, though I use their Starwood Card instead since I like those rewards better.

Details from Credit Karma:
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Note: a “0″ for credit score means that Credit Karma is missing score data for the card.

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